This year’s Presidential campaign seemed to follow us everywhere, from emails from the candidates to even popping up in banners on the bottom of our Pandora app. Facebook and Twitter mini-feeds were filled with political opinions, and Tumblr flooded with pictures of Obama and Romney. Social Media, once a place for funny wall-posts, and mindless status’ temporarily turned into a forum for discussion of political views.
Some have called this campaign, the campaign of social media, and rightfully so, as the results of the elections were seen clearly through the candidates popularity online. Prweb.com released that Obama had roughly 3 times more Facebook fans than Romney, and more than 20 times the Twitter followers. Additionally, according to a recently released Buzzfeed article, Watch Romney Fade Away In Real Time posted on my friend’s Facebook wall, Romney’s Facebook likes have only continued to dramatically plummet since the election, reaching a measly 12 million likes. The article allows you to watch Romney’s Facebook “likes” dwindle in real time. On the contrary Obama’s page has reached an impressive 33.2 million likes. We share all of our other “likes” and interests on Facebook, so it makes complete sense that we would also choose to share our political views on social network sites as well.
In addition to simply liking the candidate’s Facebook pages, during the election Facebook mini-feeds were flooded with political articles and quotes voicing strong opinions about the opposing candidates. While some users posted articles from hard news sources like the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, or The Huffington Post, I observed that the majority of articles posted were actually coming from Buzzfeed.com’s Politics section. Buzzfeed is known for being a “procrastinators paradise” where readers enjoy witty yet mindless articles about everything from cats to fire extinguisher lighters, so it makes sense to me that Facebook and Buzzfeed would go hand in hand, but I was surprised by how many Facebook users were turning to Buzzfeed for their election news. If we feel strong enough to post articles voicing our opinions on our Facebook wall, wouldn’t we want these sources to be credible?
What do you believe caused so many to post Buzzfeed articles on their profile? Is it Buzzfeed’s satirical take on serious issues? Or perhaps that the site’s humorous approach to politics allows Facebook users to share their views in a less obtrusive way?